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Editorial: Have you read the pastoral letter yet?

Bishop Daniel Felton’s pastoral letter, “The Dawn from on High Shall Break Upon Us,” has been out for a bit over a month as this issue of The Northern Cross goes to press. It was promulgated on Christmas day last year and is addressed both to the faithful of the Diocese of Duluth and to every person living in its boundaries, proposing the beautiful truth that in Jesus we find the healing, hope, and joy that we long for. 

The letter is the beginning of the fruit of all those listening sessions held throughout the diocese, as we were called to listen to each other and, most importantly, to the Holy Spirit, as our local church discerned the next step in living out our mission to bring Jesus Christ to our families and communities. 

The first emphasis in carrying it out is healing. As the bishop noted in the letter, there has been a great deal of darkness for the church and for our part of the world generally in recent years, and it is in Jesus, the divine physician, that we can truly find the healing we desire so deeply. 

This is so evident in our communities too, where we see so many struggles with depair, with mental illness, with addiction, with hopelessness. Do we dare to lift up our eyes and find healing in Jesus? Do we dare invite others to seek in Jesus the healing they need? 

The pastoral letter is not a long document — just 17 pages with photos and graphics — and you can find it on the diocesan website. It’s also available in audio form. If you haven’t already, please consider giving it a read and taking its contents to prayer. 

Then please pay attention as our faith communities begin to discern how to take the first steps in putting it into action, and discern how you, yourself, may be called to participate, first finding the healing you may need yourself and then bringing that healing to others in our beautiful northeastern Minnesota.